General Conference Book Club Week 12: Elder Hales

Maybe I should have taken a break this week from GCBC, but I figure: What better time than Christmas to focus on the Savior?  or what other week of the year needs more extra effort for quiet, peaceful reflection?

So, please join me this week in studying the talk by Elder Robert D. Hales, of the Quorum of Twelve apostles.  The talk is called “Seeking to Know God, Our Heavenly Father, and His Son, Jesus Christ,” and is from the Saturday afternoon session of conference.  I like how this talk lays out the basic doctrines about the nature of God and His son that we often take for granted, not realizing how powerful and rarely-understood they are.  And mostly I loved his closing testimony as I felt the depth of his love for Jesus Christ, and remembered my own.


“The light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God.”

“I testify that the way to know the truth about God is through the Holy Ghost.”

“With your own testimony of God, you will be able to bless your family, your posterity, your friends, your own life—all those you love.”
You can read it here, or watch it here, or listen here.  It’s also on page 29 in the November Ensign.  Please share some of your thoughts in the comments after reading the talk.
(Go here if you’d like more information about this General Conference Book Club.)
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6 thoughts on “General Conference Book Club Week 12: Elder Hales

  1. Sometimes it is nice to confirm our own thoughts with something mentioned in conference talks. Sometimes it is nice to get a reminder of what we know to be true. God loves us and helps us through things even, or maybe especially, when we are highly challenged with life’s trials.

    Here are some of my favorite thoughts from the article…

    Brothers and sisters, you may already know, deep in your soul, that God lives. You may not know all about Him yet and do not understand all His ways, but the light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God and the Light of Christ,

    I testify that the way to know the truth about God is through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, is a personage of spirit. His work is to “testify of [God]”19 and to “teach [us] all things.”20

    However, we must be careful not to constrain His influence. When we do not do what is right or when our outlook is dominated by skepticism, cynicism, criticism, and irreverence toward others and their beliefs, the Spirit cannot be with us.

  2. “We live in a time when the darkness of secularism is deepening around us.” This is even true of Christmas! Have you listened to how many songs on the radio are actually about Christ?? It’s really sad that it’s almost politically incorrect to mention Christ when talking about Christmas. It’s all about reindeer and presents and Santa Claus to the world. Really sad.

    Knowing God is eternal life. What are ways I can KNOW Him, each day? And teach my children?

    What a wonderful testimony: “He lives!” That’s all you need to know. Everything else falls into place!

    “We must be careful not to constrain [the Holy Ghost’s] influence.” WE are the ones that choose how often He’s around.

    “The light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God and the Light of Christ, which you are born with.” This is such a foreign idea to people not of our faith! I think others believe we must be taught to believe. But we don’t. It’s within us.

    “Most of us will not see God, as the prophets have, but the still, small promptings of the Spirit—the thoughts and feelings that the Holy Ghost brings into our minds and hearts—will give us an undeniable knowledge that He lives and that He loves us.”

  3. This may seem like a bit of a tangent, but this has been on my mind today, both from a Sunday school lesson and then re-reading this talk.

    We lived with God and we already know Him intimately, but due to conditions of mortality we don’t remember. He is not a mysterious being that we have to research out to try to even begin to comprehend. I noticed that many of the paragraphs of Elder Hales talk began with the words, “We know.” Our spirits know God.

    The key, then, I believe comes from this piece of counsel: “I testify that the way to know the truth about God is through the Holy Ghost. The Holy Ghost, the third member of the Godhead, is a personage of spirit. His work is to “testify of [God]”19 and to “teach [us] all things.” It seems to me that when we strive to keep the commandments of God, we invite and qualify for His Spirit, which in addition to the things Elder Hales already testified of, also “brings all things to our remembrance” (John 14:26) The Spirit simply reminds us about the loving Father we already know. It helps us to feel, remember, and recognize His love and His reality.

    Elder Hales confirms this in his testimony: “Brothers and sisters, you may already know, deep in your soul, that God lives. You may not know all about Him yet and do not understand all His ways, but the light of belief is within you, waiting to be awakened and intensified by the Spirit of God and the Light of Christ, which you are born with.”

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